Back when I was 20, I was pretty popular or so I thought, I had big groups of friends — but not one best friend. I had what I thought were great relationships with people and I was the type of guy to always be there for you. I was always going out to friends birthdays, meet-ups, and seeing them before they’d go out to college etc. Basically, I tried to be a stand out guy and was loyal to the bone. If you needed me to pick you up out of jail at 2 in the morning, I was the guy to call, I had your back.
The night of my 21st birthday, I had reservations from a friend who knew the bar owner, they had their own personal bar in the back and they told me I could rent it out for free. I thought great, this room is pretty big and has enough tables to sit about 35 people. I had personally invited 30-40 people a week prior and was excited about seeing all of my friends and just getting completely wasted with them. Party was to start at 10 so I decided it’s probably a good idea to get there a little late to make an entrance.
Around 10:30 I get there, music is blasting but the backroom is completely empty. The bartender asks me where my friends are at and I told them they all must be running late, trying to laugh it off with her. I stood by the bar staring at my phone, and I got a couple of texts from people saying they’d be late or cancelling last minute. Around 11:30 rolls around, still nobody, and I can see the bartender feeling bad for me, offering me free drinks throughout the night. I felt completely embarrassed and stupid just standing there alone on my birthday thinking I had all these great friends.
Around 12:30, still nobody, not one person has texted me since, so around 1:15 I tell them forget it I’m going home. The bartender put her hand on my shoulder and told me to forget them and know who my real friends are. I held back my tears standing in that dark empty room, feeling drunk and completely humiliated. So many mixed emotions went through my head but mostly embarrassed and betrayed. I went outside and called a cab and cried in the back on my way home. I got to my place and just sat on the bathroom floor for an hour that night, crying my eyes out like a little kid. Friends asked me about my birthday the following day but I didn’t even respond to them.
I’ve gotten over it because I’m 26 now. Its still a hard thing to think about and muster. It’s really effected the way I’ve chosen friends to keep close, my trust in people’s words have been completely broken unless they’ve been able to prove otherwise. I really don’t expect anything out of anyone, and when they do I’m really caught off guard. It’s something I hope nobody ever has to go through.
If I took anything out of this, I just learned to be more humble and be realistic. Plan things better and more importantly, find out who really cares about you. I have a solid group of great friends now and I have had amazing birthdays with just a small group. Couldn’t ask for more. Thanks again.
I’ve never felt more alone then that night.